Name: Catherine Lett
Career/profession: Musician (violinist)and music teacher
What did you go on to do after Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School?
Purcell School of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Please give details of study and subsequent work.
Playing with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, CBSO among others. Also teaching posts at Bedales School, King Edward’s School Witley and other local schools. Concerts and workshops with Canterbury Symphony Orchestra – in the workshops we created music with the children and performers it with them and also taught them traditional South African folk songs and they performed with us.
I have played at interesting venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Purcell Room, St Martin in the Fields church, 10 Downing Street and the Beckhams wedding in that castle in Ireland!
In 1999 I was invited to go on tour with a group of musicians (about 6 of us all from different countries)on a tour around Europe playing chamber concerts in almost every church in Germany, France and Holland. After the concerts we stayed up and ate and drank and camped in a van- the next day we set off to another venue and did it all over again- for 5 weeks!
We also took the same group round Swiss ski resorts playing in churches again- very memorable although we didn’t get to ski! We got stuck on the hills in the minibus several times!
Many years ago I played on Top of the Pops!
Now run my own teaching and performing business, regularly putting on concerts for all my pupils, numbering at nearly 50!
I also perform with my string quartet in recitals, for weddings and parties and dinners.
What is your best memory of the school?
Oh wow this is hard… highlights are playing music out on the lawn, rounders on the bottom field, tree climbing at break, singing folk songs in parts, school trip to Germany, kissing my favourite boy in the under stage costume store!!
How do you feel the school helped you with your chosen career path?
The variety of music we played and sung was incredibly important in forging my musical path. Coupled with the fact that it was considered an important part of school life and we had an inspirational and extremely supportive teacher in Caroline Price.
I think any school that values the arts as highly as Elmfield is bound to feel like a wonderful springboard for a career in the Arts.
What was your favourite lesson at school?
Music and languages
Can you share any highlights of your career with us?
I think I put a few earlier on in the questions but one i didn’t mention was playing the solo in the Four Seasons at St Martin in the Fields. I do remember at one moment in Winter a man on the front row caught my eye as he looked at his watch- I was just about to embark on a fast tricky passage of notes so i was momentarily put off!
A teaching highlight was during one of the workshops in Dover with the kids who hadn’t seen or heard live musical instruments before, we wrote a poem after being out in the woods describing some clashes between nature and the man made world. It was about ducks and plastic bags as I remember…when we performed that part of the show we were in a circle and I think I was in the middle and it turned into a rap! I think we renamed it DuckRap!!